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Governor LePage to NFL Commissioner: Unite with Governors Against Domestic Violence

September 22, 2014

For Immediate Release: Monday, Sept. 22, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has suggested that he and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell create a coalition to bring nationwide attention to domestic violence. In a letter dated September 19, Governor LePage encourages Goodell to unite NFL team owners and governors in an effort to end domestic violence, an issue that has thrust the NFL into the headlines this summer.

“The National Football League has an opportunity to take a high-profile stand against domestic violence by making it a national priority,” Governor LePage states in his second letter to the head of the NFL. “If you are willing to pull together a group of NFL owners, I will gather a coalition of Governors dedicated to this important cause. Together, we can create an influential partnership to provide a truly exceptional service to American society. Men must step up to end domestic violence, and NFL players are prominent role models who can turn the national spotlight on this reprehensible crime.

Governor LePage was the first governor to send a letter to commissioner Goodell on August 12 in which he advocated for the NFL to reconsider its inadequate domestic violence policy. Earlier this summer, commissioner Goodell announced Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice would serve a two-week suspension for knocking his fiancée (now wife) unconscious and dragging her body out of an elevator. The incident and subsequent sanction from the NFL disturbed Governor LePage enough to write a detailed letter to Goodell. “Mainers and all Americans are watching as you simply slap the wrist of National Football League players who commit domestic violence,” the Governor wrote.”

After days of media scrutiny and pressure from thousands of people across the nation, the NFL changed its domestic violence policy. Governor LePage said the shift in policy is a step in the right direction. But he said there is much more to do to educate Americans about domestic abuse, how to prevent it and where to find resources for victims, if necessary.

“I have listed some of my initiatives as Governor to end domestic violence,” Governor LePage wrote to Goodell. “But I am only one man. Imagine the powerful, nationwide message we could send if NFL owners and Governors team up to tackle domestic abuse. Please join me in this effort.”

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